Throughout this year and last, the war in Yemen has been on my mind. The desperate ongoing humanitarian crisis, the devastation of war, and the United States government’s complicity all weigh heavily on me.
Some, mostly Democrats, in Congress are coming around to criticizing this war, and even criticizing Saudi Arabia. If only they’d spoken up when Obama authorized billions in arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Or said something when he authorized US refueling of Saudi planes and other support for war in Yemen. Maybe we’d be getting somewhere by now?
On November 13, 2017, the House passed a resolution noting that the US assistance to the Saudi war in Yemen was not authorized by Congress. But the resolution did not call to end that assistance.
Another bill calls for the president to remove US forces from “unauthorized hostilities” in Yemen. As of this writing, 48 representatives in the House are cosponsoring this bill. It’s not nearly enough to end this war.
In the meantime, I’m a war tax resister.
Many war tax resisters and supporters have highlighted Yemen in the past few years. For example, Kevin Martonick cited the US complicity in the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Taiz in his 2016 letter to the IRS. He also stated:
“I have paid a small portion of my taxes in hopes that it will go to a constructive, worthwhile cause such as education, health care or social work. However, the U.S. government gives me little hope of that as it has proven with it’s own history time and again it will act illegally with U.S. taxpayer dollars. I cannot in good conscience give much of what little I have earned to such a corrupt institution. Therefore, I have kept the majority of what I owe which I will, as I am able, give out to organizations that are working to help people such as educational, health and other public institutions that exist to build up society rather than tear it down. When U.S. taxes are allocated completely for such worthwhile constructive causes I will gladly pay them.”
He even received a response back from the IRS – both are worth a read!
And when I wrote my letter to the IRS last year, I said:
“I will not be paying you the taxes you say I owe this year. Any taxes I pay to the general fund of the US government will be used to help finance war. This is ethically unacceptable to me.
“I cannot pay to support state-sanctioned murder, whether it is through the drone murders of civilians and so-called terrorists in Pakistan and Somalia, the providing of arms to Saudi Arabia for its aggression against Yemen, or the inevitable high rate of suicide the veterans of this war machine experience.”
This year I am sending some of my resisted tax money to aid people in Yemen and in Puerto Rico. The US government prefers war over peace, and military spending over saving lives. I don’t agree, and will never agree, with those priorities.
Post by Erica Leigh